Nissan's Electric Rebirth
Nissan is in the midst of a rebirth as a brand. Struggling for the last decade, today they announce a new corporate logo and all electric crossover, the Ariya.
Making its world debut bearing the new logo of Nissan, the arrival of the Ariya all-electric crossover is a key milestone in the brand's rebirth. Signaling the beginning of a 4 year plan to rebuild Nissan's reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer-focus, and quality, the Aryia is the company's first all-electric crossover and matches each of those strategic pillars of rebirth.
"Embracing the Japanese term iki, which characterizes the Ariya’s chic, cutting-edge nature, the front of the vehicle appears seamless, elegant and fresh. It’s highlighted by a shield – a reimagined grille for the EV era. The shield incorporates a 3-D traditional Japanese kumiko pattern just under the smooth surface, while protecting sensing equipment used for driver assistance functions without the aesthetics interrupting operation. Nissan’s redesigned brand logo is prominently placed at the center of the aerodynamic shield, beaming with crisp definition from the 20 LEDs that compose it. The new brand logo represents Nissan’s passion and dedication towards innovation by challenging conventional approaches. In keeping both sun and bar design elements, the logo signals a respect for the company’s heritage, while moving towards a future of mobility services and electrification.
The lower section of the shield is bordered by subtle lighting that illuminates, along with the logo, when the Ariya is ready for operation. Thin LED headlamps, constructed with four 20-millimeter mini-projectors to reinvent Nissan’s signature V-motion design."
What Is It?
We are glad you asked! The Aryia is a 5-passenger crossover SUV built on an all-new all-electric platform from Nissan. Set to pick up on the successes of the Nissan Leaf and its nearly 500,000 units sold to-date, the Ariya boasts 300 miles of range from its 90 kWh battery housed underneath the spacious cabin. Driven by one or two different electric motors, this crossover is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
"The car’s all-electric drivetrain combines excellent power delivery, charging capabilities and range. Customers can choose from multiple configurations to meet their individual needs. These include two-wheel-drive and new “e-4ORCE” all-wheel drive versions, as well as two different battery sizes. The e-4ORCE all-wheel control system balances the powerful performance with a smooth, comfortable ride and all-weather capability. The system’s twin electric motors provide balanced, assured handling with sports car-level power."
Boasting 160-290 kW (215-389 horsepower) and instantaneous 221-443 lb-ft of torque (depending trim), this crossover will surely make an impression on all onboard when the accelerator is slammed to the floor. Official 0-60 times forthcoming. While that is sure to put a smile on the face of some, that is not the ultimate goal of this vehicle.
"The Ariya embodies the company’s vision to enrich people’s lives."
A key focus in the design of this crossover was to showcase the new technologies and styles of the brand moving forward. With a commitment to release 10 new models in 20 months (hello Z), we are sure to see more technology from Nissan soon.
The Ariya certainly packs quite a punch in the technology department, being the brand's most advanced embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility to-date. The Next-Generation ProPILOT Assist 2.0 advanced driver assistance system uses driver attention monitoring to enable hands-off single-lane highway operation, not quite Tesla Autopilot but still worth noting in a mass-produced vehicle from an established brand. One-pedal driving will also be a staple of the Ariya, allowing the driver to start, accelerate, and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal in a system dubbed e-Pedal.
"Standard across the Ariya lineup is Nissan Safety Shield® 360, a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies. This includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist. Ariya will also feature Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and other technologies aimed at making the drive easier and more enjoyable."
The sleek Ariya interior is defined by the Japanese term ma – referring to its
qualities of belonging to both space and time. Infotainment comes from a large screen spanning from behind the steering wheel across to the center stack and features natural speech recognition for all sorts of interior controls. Typical of new, connected cars, over-the-air updates will keep the software fresh. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ is standard for seamless integration from smartphone to car. Thin profile Zero Gravity seats await the occupants and provide a comfortable place to spend a road trip or an errand run.
Other unique interior features are a clean dash thanks to a repositioned A/C unit under the hood vs in the cabin, "hidden" touch sensitive haptic A/C controls on the wooden dash, adjustable center console for enhanced driver comfort with memory settings, and fold-out center tray from the dash that can transform the cabin to an on-the-go office or picnic table.
You know I love color and the Ariya is offered with six two-tone exterior paint combinations, each sporting a black roof, and three striking full-body colors. A unique exterior Copper and Black two-tone color package, called Akatsuki, expresses the moment just before dawn, as the sun marks the beginning of a new day.
The all-new Nissan Ariya is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021, followed by the U.S. and Canada later in the year. U.S. pricing will start around $40,000.
We await more from the brand as it enters its rebirth, and this is certainly a strong entry into the market, but is it enough at this point? Only time will tell.